Most families aim to build success and raise their standard of living so their children can have better lives. But, this isn’t feasible for everyone without help. Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter and the Construction Management Academy of The Villages High School work together to give some of these families a boost when it comes to their homes, a measure of success for many families. Habitat and the academy recently completed a yearlong project to build a home for the Brooks family and handed over the keys to their new home Wednesday.
To Amanda Brooks, a working, single parent whose family received the house, the students’ drive and efforts were impressive and something for which she always will be grateful.
“The students are amazing,” she said. “I know they don’t realize it but they have completely changed my life.”
After years of trying to obtain a home, Brooks and her daughter, Emilee, received the keys to their new home with tears of joy. Brooks applied to the program at The Villages Charter School and, through a selection process, was chosen out of the top five applicants.
“I remember exactly where I was when I received the call from Habitat,” Brooks said. “I was at work, and I took the call and I wanted to jump up and down and cry in excitement.”
She said she then contacted everyone that knew she had applied.
“My family is so proud of the woman, mother, daughter I’ve become,” she said. “They can’t wait to come visit my new home.”
Brooks has spent the year keeping herself steady at work and volunteering over 200 hours of “sweat equity” for Habitat for Humanity.
The construction students even planned a surprise for Emilee: a bright pink playhouse for her to enjoy in her new backyard. Art students lent their artistic abilities to add characters from Disney movies to the decor. Emilee smiled as she ducked through the door labeled “Emilee’s Playhouse.”